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Roy Parmenter is a veteran FBI agent who has spent the last 20 years trying to find the Russian agent who killed his partner whom he calls Scuba. When a couple of deep cover Russian agents are killed Parmenter thinks Scuba is the one doing it. The Russians who have received word from Scuba that if they want him to stop, they have to pay him. So they send a veteran Russian agent, Karpov to stop him. Parmenter was tasked with performing background checks on people applying for certain things requiring security clearance and when he comes across Jeffrey Grant who's applying to the Air Force Academy, he discovers that his parents' info is false. He also learns of Karpov coming into the country and suspects that he is here to stop Scuba and that Karpov went to the city where Jeffrey and his family live, so he decides to keep an eye on Jeffrey and his family. Written by
This film's director Richard Benjamin once said of working with actor River Phoenix, "He is not only a superb actor but he is real. Only the truth is in him, and it's wonderful to see". See more »
Jeffrey says he need a new clutch for his truck, but in a scene before that he is driving and only makes one shift, after that the truck is heard making automatic transmission shifts and his arm does not move. See more »
Jeffrey Nicholas Grant.
Well, that sounds official.
Your parents are Russian spies. Your parents are KGB agents. "Sleepers," they're called.
Deep cover. They blend with the country they're assigned to. Own homes, hold jobs, raise families. They sleep for years. But when they awake, they're lethal.
Let's go back to your Air Force Academy investigation. What happened to that?
What about it?
What happened to your investigation?
There wasn't any.
Richard and Elizabeth Grant entered this country ...
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FBI agent stumbles upon Soviet spies while interviewing Air Force Academy hopeful.
The fact that the basic plot of this movie is ridiculous fails to ruin it. FBI agent Roy Parmenter (Sidney Poitier) is interviewing Jeff Grant (River Phoenix) for his possible entrance into the Air Force Academy. While reviewing Grant's file he discovers that his parents Richard (Richard Jenkins) and Elizabeth (Caroline Kava) are not who they seem to be. They turn out to be dormant Soviet spies, `sleepers', who have come to the United States and started a life with their son, who has no idea they are spies.
I won't even go into how silly it is the way Parmenter discovers this, as if computers REALLY work that way. Suffice it to say, when he finally tells an incredulous Jeff about his parents, several other sleepers have already been murdered by renegade double agent Scuba (Richard Lynch). Scuba wants money from the KGB and if he doesn't get it, he will kill every sleeper on his list, the Grants included. The former boss to all these agents is Constantine (Richard Bradford), who is sent to San Diego to collect Scuba and take him back to Russia for punishment.
Scuba is finally captured, by Parmenter, whose partner was murdered by Scuba some 20 years prior, so he has a personal reason for wanting Scuba too. The aforementioned characters wind up on the trolley going towards the Mexican border and an exchange between Parmenter and Constantine, who has abducted Jeff, occurs. However, once at the border, Scuba makes a run for it and all hell breaks loose.
As I said earlier, as implausible as the plot is, the movie is actually quite enjoyable and somehow suspenseful. While you may find yourself rolling your eyes at certain points, you'll also find yourself chuckling at some of the dialog and situations the characters find themselves in. Loretta Devine, as Jeff's teacher Verna McLaughlin, is hilarious in the scene where she is caught in bed with Parmenter by Jeff. `No problem,' she says when Parmenter apologizes, `I'll just go topless for the whole student body!'
Despite the fact that Scuba is the ultimate enemy I found myself cheering him on because Lynch is such a powerful actor. You want to see him on the screen more, no matter what he's doing. The fact that he's not in the film enough is my only other complaint about it.
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